Philadelphia’s community development corporations have generated an economic impact of roughly $3.3 billion over the last two decades, according to a new report.
“Philadelphia CDCs are neighborhood anchors that for years have added to the local tax base, increased wealth and sustained jobs,” said Rick Sauer, executive director of Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.
The report, released Wednesday by the PACDC, detailed the economic impact of community development corporations — non-profits typically dedicated to helping low-income residents — on the city economy.
In addition to the billions pumped into the local economy, the report found that CDC spending helped create approximately 12,000 jobs, and trickled outward in the city economy to generate $28 billion in tax revenue.
On average, found the report, homes near CDC projects are worth about $4,000 more than similar homes in other neighborhoods.
According to data in the study, CDC related construction boosted overall property values by about 4 percent, resulting in a $680 million increase in property values. That translates to an annual increase in tax revenue for the city and school district to the tune of $4.6 million and $5.6 million respectively.
“In a time where funding is lean and need are great,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, “CDCs effectively use support from the city to create jobs, develop affordable housing and invest in the future of our neighborhoods and our people.”
Information from 44 CDCs in the city was included in the report, which focused largely on affordable housing efforts and related construction activity since 1992. CDC activity reached its peak in 2002 at 119. There were 69 projects documented in 2011. According to the report, the fewest projects, 8, were done in 1993
Projects were broken down into three main categories: 71.9 percent were residential construction or rehab projects; 20.8 percent were commercial and 7.3 percent were streetscape, vacant lot or green projects.
The CDCs involved had annual budgets ranging from a high of $21 million to $72,500 for a collective economic force of about $179 million.
“There are other CDCs within the City … so the actual aggregate amounts and impact … is larger than what is depicted in the report,” noted its authors.
In addition to housing programs, CDCs funded economic development programs that ranged from streetscape improvements and job training programs to community services programs like after school programs and arts programing.
The report included data from CDEs in nearly every Philadelphia neighborhood but the majority were in North, South, Southwest and West Philadelphia.
The report also included state data, noting that CDC — the majority of which are clustered in Philadelphia and the five surrounding counties — had a $5.1 billion economic impact on the state, creating 37,100 jobs and generating $118 million state tax revenue.